Week #5 Roundup 2020

I’m trying something new. Instead of posting stuff on Facebook that are thought provoking for me, I’m going to post them on my site so that I can reference them later. It’s one reason I post to FB. The other is to share and have some cordial dialogue.

This week, I’m thinking about anger and conflict, the Gospel of John, my doctorate, and Kobe.


Anger is one of those things that has the power to transform our lives as we attend to it, relate to it new ways. I’ve been praying for revival. That sounds super spiritual but so far, it’s a time that is making me face my relationship to anger. I don’t express my anger very well. I judge and blame. And I don’t take the time to address the deep unmet needs/hopes I have.

“…anger is a sign that we are alienated from our needs. Rosenberg writes, “Anger can be valuable if we use it as an alarm clock to wake us up—to realize that we have a need that isn’t being met and that we are thinking in a way that makes it unlikely to be met.”

Hunsinger, Deborah van Deusen. Transforming Church Conflict: Compassionate Leadership in Action

The Gospel of John

I’m in the Gospel of John all year (until I finish it). Each week, I’m studying sections of the text and doing a short homily via podcast and with a small group of people.

Wherever the loss of the conviction of the full deity of Jesus Christ occurs, the Church and world lose their center and meaningThe Word from Creation to the Cross-Resurrection Church

The Gospel of John: A Commentary, by Dale Bruner

Bruner has been blessing me, along with NT Wright and the IVP Commentary on John. It’s a Gospel that continues to intrigue and I’ve never spent a whole year on a book.

In the first chapter of John, the author is making his case for the deity of Jesus Christ. I find it a struggle at times to accept that there is a God who is ruling and reigning, especially when I see people dying, getting diagnosed with life ending or life impairing diseases. I lament when someone is struggling emotionally or even financially (it can be brutal living in California…expensive housing, high costs of health insurance, and non-competitive wages).

Yet I’m also comforted that God became flesh so that we might know how and who The Other (a mystical way to refer to God) is. This biblical God is not hiding in the form of Jesus. Christ is revealing the heart of God and showing us what God is up to: saving, healing, redeeming, reconciling. In John 1, people are looking for the Messiah. What they don’t realize is that the Messiah has been looking for them.

When we minimize Christ to be a therapist, a nice guy, or a great teacher, we lose the center of who God really is! The Church loses its force and mission. Christ is King. Christ is Lord. This summons a response.

The Work of the Corporate Chaplain with Conflict in the Workplace

In the workplace, company’s may teach conflict management as a strategy.  But many company’s don’t know how to implement it as personal transformation.  Conflict management has a lot more to do with inner transformation than strategy.  The tools are great when coupled with a commitment towards self-leadership.  

Corporate Chaplains are in prime positions to assist with both personal transformation and corporate strategy.

Can a workplace be a space where employees:

  1. Are supported in inner personal/professional transformation (inside/out process)
  2. Have a space of grace to be vulnerable and transparent as they seek transformation
  3. Can be reflective, processing their inner life and habits

Doctorate of Ministry at Fuller Seminary: Dissertation Scope

I’m trying to scope my Doctorate of Ministry towards what it means to be a pastoral presence in public settings and spaces. That’s the big idea. In practice, I’d be thinking through this from the view of a corporate chaplain. A friend (missiology professor) and others have been helping me get more focused on this endeavor.

The framework (big idea) would go beyond corporate chaplaincy. But the bulk of the writing would be on a particular context: the workplace as the embodied contextual theology. I’m trying to exegete a workplace that has various departments with their own ecologies.

Some the work may include:

  • an Embodiment Piece – ecology and topography of workspaces
  • Liturgies of the workspace – annual calendar cycles (busy/slow times), weekly/monthly routines/rhythms of various departments, daily habits/rituals of ordinary workers.
  • Talk about each space of the coworker and how it impacts them.  There is gift and wisdom here.

The following ideas are things I have been thinking about when it comes to being a pastoral presence in the public.

  • name the pain
  • Life calls us to respond
  • Awaken
  • Spirituality of curiosity
  • The great big question, what do you want

Kobe Bryant

I’ve been talking to people the last two weeks about the loss of Kobe and the eight others. I’ve never been hit by a celebrity loss. I’ve been thinking why this hit me. All I could come up with is that I have so many shared memories and emotional experiences as a Laker fan. I’ve made a connection with others and, in some sense, with Kobe. I’ve never met him but it’s interesting how we feel like we’ve known him our whole lives. I obviously don’t really know him at all. But I feel like I do because of all the TV exposure and rooting for him and the Lakers.

I was actually more intrigued in his work after basketball. I’m a bivocational latino male whose trying to figure out how to be a great chaplain, but also a great drummer. In that order. And I was touched by his growth in faith as a Catholic. That’s why it was so touching to hear that him and his daughter were at Mass the morning of his death. He had a habit of going to mass early morning. This habit shaped him in some kind of way.

I hope and pray that my faith continues to shape me to be more like Jesus in this world.

“He was here before the 7 a.m. mass and that’s our first mass of the day,” Father Sallot told local station KABC-TV in an on-camera interview. “So he would obviously have been in the prayer chapel before that and he was leaving about 10 to 7.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s